Lead Photo: Courtesy Island Storage Suites
Island Storage Suites in Fort Myers is a multi-phase project described by its developer as “fondly recognized by its owners as an exclusive club. It’s where friends and family socialize and share common interests.”
But unlike traditional clubs with official meetings to explore charity interests or discuss the nuances of a commonly read book, this meet-up society microcosm is different. It’s a collective of upscale individual storage units, and what’s in them is what brings the owners together.
By any given name—car condo to man cave, she shed to mantuary—the special purpose units are primarily used for storing expensive new and vintage cars, trucks and Class-A RVs.
Climate controlled and customizable with large- screen televisions, fully equipped bathrooms, private bars and fancy flooring, the storage units are micro-apartments. It’s where hobbyists can showcase their prized possessions.
Built with heavy-grade steel to withstand powerful weather, as well as 2,000-pound doors and other security-focused features, numerous upscale storage facilities flourish throughout Southwest Florida.
“These units are owned by some of the most amazing people I’ve met,” says Scott Allan, president of Allan Development Group and a managing member. “I am humbled to be able to call a lot of them my friends. We hang out on-site and off-site all the time. This project has really developed itself into what we consider an exclusive club.
“We don’t advertise from the street. We are a very private and discreet community of like-minded people who really have a good time hanging out with and without the families, doing whatever we need to do during the day, whether it’s playing around with cars, having a cocktail with each other or just talking shop and life.”
Naples Realtor Phil Pugh was at the forefront of the upscale storage condominium phenomenon, and he’s currently a national consultant for several pending facilities in Southwest Florida: Vehicle Fortress, My Other Place and Naples Motor Condos in its two locations. He prefers the name luxury storage units, instead of the concept’s more colloquial terminology.
Considering its amenities, Pugh makes his point well, further describing Vehicle Fortress in Fort Myers as a community. Consider what’s offered: security cameras, an 8-foot perimeter fence, a 50-amp dedicated RV electrical outlet in each unit, multiple electric outlets and overhead lights, dump stations for your RV or boat and washing bays, motorized and insulated 12- or 14-foot wide and 14-foot high garage doors, restrooms with showers and a laundry facility.
Vehicle Fortress accepts owners with varied collections, but it caters to recreational vehicles, with about 75% of the buyers RV owners. The reason, in part: The layout and units include 65-foot aisles for easier maneuvering.
Not every luxury storage unit is located in the recently built complexes. Temperature-controlled units for vehicle and other hobbyists’ collections are available as exceptions to the norm of traditional storage units.
The differences, however, are numerous. High-cost environment-controlled units in regional and national storage chain companies begin with rent of a few hundred dollars a month. Some luxury-specific storage facilities units for sale don’t have disclosed prices, but the entry-level price, according to the My Other Place website, is $269,000. Monthly fees are extra.
“It takes patience and proper care to enjoy the finer things in life,” the front page of the Naples Motor Condos website states. “Storing your vehicles shouldn’t be any different.”